The row reported in the Echo over Dorchester Town Council’s plans to install a wood burning boiler in the Corn Exchange shows no signs of going away.

The row was inflamed by Mayor Biggs’ outburst at the recent full Council Meeting when residents raised concerns about the absence of any local risk assessments.

Residents are understandably interested in air quality and asked for details of any risk assessment provided to Councillors.

“Not required” was the mayor’s somewhat Dickensian reply.

It appears at least one councillor was unaware the Corn Exchange sits within the area designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

This fact and recent links between air quality and respiratory illness surely demand high standards of assessment and clarity for any environmental risk?

Increasingly, it looks as if the council took its biomass decision without any detailed AQMA risk assessment whatsoever.

It is worrying too that the latest “Dorchester News” circulated by the Town Council to local residents refers to “green energy” meaning the new biomass furnace.

Adding combustion particulates, CO2 emissions and NOx from a wood burning system into an AQMA while brushing aside calls for detailed risk assessment has a faint odour of “Greenwash” about it.

The council must back up its claims with evidence.

There is still time to produce the evidence - the biomass grant can wait.